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Monday, February 25, 2013

Make It Monday: Laundry Detergent Revisited

I know I’ve written a post about this in the past, but I also know that it has been a while and that there are quite a few new people visiting my blog now. Laundry detergent. I used to use whatever I could get the cheapest, but preferred Tide. I especially loved the ones that smelled pretty. It’s quite amazing how much things have changed. I can’t use commercial laundry detergent anymore, at least, not the scented stuff. Open up a bottle and I’m sure to be sneezing.

 My pregnancy could be to blame for part of it. I became very sensitive to smell while I was pregnant with A and while I can still wear some of my perfume from before, a lot of it was thrown out because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Shortly after A was born, I realized that there had to be a less expensive way t have laundry detergent. I was doing so much laundry, between her clothes, my husband’s school, work, and Army uniforms, and our normal clothes. I was easily spending $15-20 a month just on laundry detergent.

I did a lot of digging and asked a lot of friends and found a recipe that works well for us, lasts about a month doing all of our laundry (except the diapers – I use EcoSprout for my diapers) and only costs about $4 a month. And I can make it scented or unscented, depending on my mood.  

Powdered Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar castile soap – I use Kirk’s. It’s about $4 for a three pack 
  • 1 cup washing soda 
  • 1 cup borax 
  • About 20 drops essential oil, if desired 

Making the detergent is easy enough. Dig out your cheese grater and grate the soap on the smallest size setting you have. Just a little hint, if you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting a grater that has four sides and can stand up by itself. This will help expedite the grating process. Mix your grated soap with the washing soda and borax. If desired, you can use a food processor to help break down the soap even more. I don’t bother. It works just fine as is. Mix in your essential oil, if desired, and you’re good to go. Just make sure you mix very well if you decide to use the oil, you don’t want to end up with little oil stains on your clothes. Because I have a baby at home and my husband works with motorcycles all day, I also mix OxyClean into my detergent. I add about 2 cups to the finished detergent. That way I don’t have to scoop it into the wash separately.

To use: Use about 1 tablespoon detergent per load or 2 tablespoons if you added the OxyClean. Add to your washer with warm water running to help dissolve the soap. If you want to continue your wash in cold, that’s fine. Just use a little bit of warm water to help in the beginning. Dry as normal. I know one tablespoon doesn’t sound like a lot of detergent. But we’ve had really good luck with it. If I have something that’s stained, I usually just let the laundry soak for a bit before continuing the wash cycle and it works fine. Even got a spaghetti stain out of one of A’s shirts the other day without using anything else to treat it.

There are a few variations of the recipe. Some people use regular bar soap, like Ivory. It works fine this way as well, but since we’re also a green household, I like using the natural castile soap. I’ve also seen versions of this recipe with Fels Naptha. I’ve done some reading on it and it’s ingredients and they seem a bit questionable to me, so I’ll stick with the castile soap. But you are welcome to try this recipe or any of the variations.

You can find Kirk’s in with the hand-soaps at many grocery stores and at Wal-Mart. Dr. Bronner’s also makes bar soap, but it is more expensive. Washing soda and borax can be found in the laundry aisle, usually near the powdered detergents.

Have you tried making laundry detergent? What was your experience?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snuggly Baby

I love it when A wants to snuggle. Unfortunately, since she's a toddler, that doesn't happen too often anymore. Today was an exceptionally snuggly, cuddly day. A has had a cold for over a week now and had a rough day today. Fever this morning, nose running like crazy. She just wanted to snuggle today. And while I didn't get anything done, I didn't mind. I got to cuddle with my sweet little girl. Hubby was gone all day and my phone takes terrible pictures, so I don't have any to share. But I just wanted to take a few moments to remind you to take those snuggles when you can. I hope my little girl feels better soon, but until she does. I'm enjoying the snuggles.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Ladybug on a Pug Cloth Wipes

I've been lucky enough to find a fairly new WAHM to allow me to host a review & giveaway for you.  Let me introduce...Ladybug on a Pug!

Jamie, the  mom behind Ladybug on a Pug, is a fairly new WAHM.  She began making wipes when she couldn't find what she wanted commercially and realized that she could make high quality wipes for a lesser amount than what other companies charged for them. About her fun prints, she said, "I love fun prints so using one side with flannel seemed a great way to add a touch of whimsy to, lets face it, a messy job!"  She began selling after sharing pictures in a cloth diaper forum and finding people had interest in her design.  Ladybug on a Pug can be found on Etsy or Hyena Cart and makes both standard and travel sized wipes.

Ladybug on a Pug was kind enough to send me six girly two-ply cloth wipes.  One layer of adorable flannel print and another layer of cotton sherpa.  They measure about 8x8 square and are turned & top-stitched.  They are very well-made and came tied up in a pretty ladybug bow.  I let her choose the prints she sent me and I could not be happier with what she chose.  They are all adorable.  I think my favorite are probably the monkeys (A's nickname is Little Monkey), the brown and aqua hearts and the black, white, and pink floral.

I've been using my wipes for a couple of weeks now and other than the standard pilling that you get with all flannels, they still look amazing. There have been no issues with the stitching, like you sometimes find with serged wipes.  The sherpa side is great for poopy diapers.  I have been able to clean some very messy diapers with just one wipe.  These would also be great for cleaning up messy hands and faces after eating!  I usually use a wipe warmer for my wipes because we are currently in a basement and they get really cold otherwise.  I also like the pop up dispenser the warmer has (I started with disposable wipes, so the pop up is just a habit I guess).  The only negative I've found with these wipes is that they are a bit thick to get through the pop up dispenser in my warmer and they are so cute I want to leave them out anyways!  I may have to find a pretty little basket to put them in and just plop them in wipes solution to use as needed!

Bottom line, I love these wipes.  I may need to buy some more sometime in the near future.  You can buy these wipes on Etsy or Hyena Cart or you can win your own set of 12 standard or travel size wipes in winner's choice of prints! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Today I was a Stalker....

....of the mailman and the UPS driver!

I'm sure my fellow fluffy mamas out there understand.  You ordered a diaper and your tracking says "Out for Delivery" and you want it NOW!?!  That was me today.  Except it wasn't just a diaper today.  It was a diaper AND a diaper bag.

On Friday I bought A an "Addison" diaper from Little Fancy Pants on Hyena Cart.  LFPs are hybrid fitteds made by a WAHM.  She lets her customers name new prints.  I named this particular one for A and was lucky enough to get the diaper I wanted at the stocking.  When 20 diapers sell out in less than two seconds, this is quite a feat!  Well, to my surprise, I checked the tracking last night and saw it was already in town!  Super fast for first class mail on a holiday weekend.

So today, I sat upstairs and watched for the mailman around the time he normally comes.  He was a bit late today.  I saw him coming! Up the wrong side of the street!  So I had to wait.  And once he came, I ran to that mailbox as fast as I could (thankfully, A was napping).  The diaper is so pretty!  Here is A with her new diaper on the bum!

The second piece of mail is actually a birthday present from an amazing friend.  I've wanted a decent diaper bag for quite a while.  JuJuBe discontinued the Be Hip and she bought me one!  Unfortunately, I had no clue when to expect the UPS driver so stalking him was a bit harder.  It was "Out for Delivery" at 6 AM this morning!  Ugh, the suspense was killing me.  But it finally came around 5:15 and I am SOO excited to check out my new bag!  I'm sure there will be a review to come soon, but so far, I am loving it.

So today I was a stalker.  But the suspense is part of what makes fluffy mail oh so fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life Update

So I want to start out by apologizing for not being around very much lately.  We have three computers, a netbook and desktop, which are mine, and a laptop that is my hubby's.  The hard drive went out on my netbook so we set up my desktop.  Lo and behold, it's memory is shot so it won't even turn on.  I just have no luck when it comes to computers.  I was in the habit of blogging at night, and of course, that's when hubby is home and wants to use his computer.

I'm going to try to change my habits to blog during the day instead.  Hopefully I will be around to post more then.

As far as an update on the No Junk Food Challenge, this last week has been a major fail.  I do well if junk food is not in sight, but my hubby has a sweet tooth in the worst way and bought drumsticks and Oreos this week.  Needless to say, I ate WAY more than I should have and am kicking myself for it now.

On the bright side, a group of friends and I are starting a weight loss support group next month, so I will probably try to start back up then with them working with me for support.  I think having some people supporting me and helping me along will make it much easier.

On other fronts, A has a cold and her nose is running like a faucet.  Poor little girl.  I hope it goes away soon.  But if anyone has any pointers for helping a seventeen month old with a super runny nose, let me know!  We've suctioned her nose out and not even two minutes later it's dripping again.  Poor baby.

Keep your eyes open!  I have a giveaway that will be going live this week and my cloth diapering friends are gonna love these adorable wipes!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

No Junk Food Challenge: Week 5

How did everyone do last week?  Friday was an epic failure for me.  It was a co-workers last day at work.  In the mornings, I am in charge of getting A ready for daycare and my husband is in charge of grabbing lunch and breakfast.  Well on Friday he grabbed neither.  And the co-worker brought donuts for breakfast on her last day.  I was starving....and had a donut.  Failure! 

Well today we start week five.  Adding no pastries to our ever growing list of no-nos.  After last week, this shouldn't be too much more difficult. 

As before, we have our 200 calories for cheat foods.  I can't really think of any specially packaged low calorie pastries out there, so just be sure to check your labels this week!

Good luck and have fun!